Economic leadership needed from PM

blpowenanddwightPrime Minister Freundel Stuart’s apparent disinterest and incompetence in economic matters is one of the major reasons Barbadians should not return an administration led by him to office.

That’s the view of his main political rival, Barbados Labour Party leader Owen Arthur.

The former prime minister and minster of finance said with Barbados’ facing economic perils, the degree to which no previous leader had confronted, the island needed someone in charge who was willing and able to give economic leadership.

He expressed the view last night while speaking in support of BLP St. James Central candidate Kerrie Symmonds at a national meeting in Redman’s Village.

“In the final analysis it is all about leadership and our Barbadian society has been a strong society, has been a good society because of the quality of the leadership that we have enjoyed. It has not been about natural resources…Barbados has always been well governed and has had stronger leaders that have been able to hold this country to a successful course,” Arthur said.

“It has to begin to be said that Barbados needs a leader who can govern and manage and develop the economy. All through our history the prime minister has been minister of finance.”

The economist said a society required an economy that was strong to carry it and the “real primary role” of a prime minister was to give economic leadership.

“It is not by chance therefore that all prime ministers have sought to give that economic direction. What you have now is a prime minister who takes refuge in philosophy, loves to quote a lot of scriptures, but expresses his economic ineptitude by asking you the people of Barbados to accept a false ideology that you can pay too much attention to the economy but that you can build a society by not paying attention to the economy,” he stated.

“At a time when our people are sucking salt to be told that we pay too much attention to the economy, I am precisely sure that’s what you want your government to do, to take an economy that has been broken and fix it.

“You must come to accept that your prime minister must have economic competence and the Democratic Labour Party has failed because its leader does not understand that fundamental to leading this country is what (Errol) Barrow did, what Tom (Adams) did, what (Sir Harold) St. John did, what, (Sir Lloyd) Sandiford did, what (David) Thompson, and what I did,” he added.

Arthur said Stuart seemed to be suffering from the “dropsy” and that he had “brought a new kind of inertia to bear on the highest places in the land”.

“He wants to be a philosopher like Aristotle and Plato and he has a lot in common with them, they are dead and he is dead too,” Arthur stated.

“We know that the only thing that he is good act is not knowing when to make decisions and finding the most empty excuses for not being able to do that which a prime minister must do – to decide,” he added, pointing to the CLICO and Alexandra School problems as examples of this. (SC)

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